A whimsical report on a visit to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July 2005 for an e-mail newsletter:
One of the highlights of any raceday visit to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone is the pitlane walkabout.
As always, the scene was a mixture of Technology and Posing:
“I got the look from Eddy Izzard’s Action Transvestite Range. Whaddya Think?”
“Lovely darling, now just drape yourself across that front wing would you”
Wings were definitely the focus of development this year. Mclaren were trying out a novel triple-decker biplane design:
Whilst Jordan were clearly stocking-up in anticipation of any problems with theirs during the race:
“Yeah, Red Bull gave them to us, said they give ‘em to everyone”
There is always the question of tactics to consider for the formation lap:
Yes Mr Wenger, I understand your point about using wingers, but it is difficult to play 4-2-4 when you only have two in the team”
Every team has it’s joker:
We should never have let him go on that rain forest trip in Brazil. Now every time he does this all we get is:
“Hey, you know what? This reminds me of when I was wrestling Anacondas in the jungle”
Some of the tactics can be underhand:
“You see this, it’s from Sato’s car, they’ll never notice it’s gone until he gets to the start line.”
So motivation is a key part of every team’s strategy:
“I showed Mark’s new orange whoopee cushion design to Sir Frank.
He said I should fit it where the sun doesn’t shine. Any ideas where he means?”
As is promoting the correct image:
“Apparently it was a suggestion from that Alistair Campbell guy. He said to pile them up like that so that the opposition will know we’re on the march”
Which is why teams often give permission for documentaries to be made about them:
“I’ve put the rushes on this little screen here.
Thought you’d be interested, it goes out next Friday on BBC Four at 2am.
I think I’ll call it ‘Louis meets Apathy’
News of any design innovation moves very rapidly along the pit lane:
“I’ve patched into the McLaren pit, but all they’ve got on is some sort of documentary. No sign of any of our wings though.”
From what I could see at Williams, Webber’s got a streamlined orange whoopee cushion that’s far more aerodynamic than Jarno’s Red & Black one over there.
“No boss, Red Bull are still looking for their wings. They’re tuned into that Theroux guy’s video, but they’ve no idea about the new whoopee cushion.”
As is diverting attention away from any new innovations
“I’m doing what it says down there, but damned if I can see what I’m supposed to be photographing”
Some teams disguise the components of their cars to keep the opposition guessing
“That was real genius to put our engine in the generator and disguise the chassis as a trolley. And thanks to those guys at Red Bull, we’ve got some wings now”
At the other end of the pit lane controversy surrounds Michael Schumacher’s spat with a camera crew after final qualifying
“You have to come and see Mr Villeneuve, it’s dreadful what Mr Schumacher did to that poor innocent microphone.”
“All Jim Rosenthal asked him was whether he was happy with ninth on the grid, and the next thing we knew he grabbed Yuri Geller’s spoons and some Ferrari duct tape, and did this to me!
“Don’t worry little fella, one of his mechanics is a friend of mine. I’ll have a word”
“OK Michael, let’s see how quickly you can get off the line with this much duct tape on your whoopee cushion!”
© 2005 CepenPark Publishing Ltd